The following is information on the Elephant Orphan named: ITHUMBAH  (foster now)

Name Gender Date Born Location Found Age on Arrival Comments Reason for being Orphaned
 ITHUMBAH  Female  Tuesday, September 9, 2008 Ithumba - Northern Tsavo East  Two years old  Found stuck in the black cotton clay of Ithumba Dam  Stuck in Mud 

Latest Updates on ITHUMBAH:

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Most Recent Keeper's Diary Entry: (view all the latest entries for ITHUMBAH)

4/12/2018 - Karisa and Sapalan led the way out in morning with Karisa carrying a branch in his mouth and enjoying it as he walked down to wait for the lucerne pellets. Laragai’s group, Makireti and Kilabasi, spent the night just outside the stockade, and joined the orphans for the pellets. Dupotto passed by Enkikwe's stockade to take him out but Enkikwe threatened to push her. Dupotto turned and left as Enkikwe followed her slowly. Siangiki shared her pile of pellets with Sokotei while Orwa refused to share with anybody, even Enkikwe when he tried to take a few pellets as he was passing. Orwa threw a side kick that almost landed on Enkikwe, but Enkikwe still insisted on taking a few pellets before limping away.

Out in the Park, the herd could afford to take a break from feeding to participate in various games given the amount of vegetation around at the moment. Orwa, Vuria, Bomani, Olsekki, Kamok, Namalok and Oltaiyoni enjoyed some rolling games, while Tusuja engaged Lemoyian in a pushing game after Lemoyian tried to ride on Tusuja's head. Later, Tusuja invited Bomani to a pushing game, which Bomani declined by walking away.

At mud bath time, the orphans were joined by Lualeni, Galana, baby Gawa, Naserian, Sunyei, baby Siku, Lenana, Bongo, Teleki, Yatta, baby Yoyo, Mulika, Mwende, Ithumbah and three wild elephants. An hour later, the groups parted ways. Later in the afternoon, we received a light shower of 10 mm. The showers put the orphans in a playing mood and they spent so much time rolling on the wet soil and smearing themselves with red mud.

The Two Latest Photos of ITHUMBAH: (view gallery of pictures for ITHUMBAH)

 Abdi is flown down to Ithumba so that he can bring the much needed milk & medication Amazingly without too much coaxing she follows the keepers to the hanger
Abdi is flown down to Ithumba so that he can bring the much needed milk & medication
photo taken on 9/25/2010
Amazingly without too much coaxing she follows the keepers to the hanger
photo taken on 9/25/2010


During the morning of the 25th September, Head Elephant Keeper Benjamin, based at the Ithumba Elephant Rehabilitation Unit in Northern Tsavo East National Park, happened to be taking rocks by tractor to the Ithumba Dam where the Trust has recently sunk another borehole to alleviate the ongoing dry season water crisis which always presents us with a huge headache. Having reached the dam, he noticed that an elephant calf was hopelessly bogged in the black cotton clay of the dam’s receding water level. The calf had obviously become stuck in the black cotton mud during the night, since it had not been there when Benjamin deposited another load of rocks the previous day.

The calf was discovered by our keepers trapped in the mud, fortunately before any predators found her in her helpless state  The calf was found trapped fast in the sticky drying mud of Ithumba Dam

The elephant is given much needed water

Having mobilized all available Keepers, the calf was pulled free of the mud, and with her legs bound, she followed the Keepers to the airstrip situated close by and into the shade of the open aircraft hanger. Once it was established that the decision had been made by Daphne and Angela for the calf to remain at Ithumba to be raised, in the hope that she may later be united with her mother and herd, she was lifted onto the tractor trailer and driven from the airstrip to the Ithumba Stockades, a short five kilometer journey only.

The keepers plan how to best extract the calf first cooling her with water  The team work hard to try to free the trapped calf from the black cotton mud

The calf is extracted from the mud  The team help her out of the mud

The calf follows the keepers towards the airstrip  Amazingly without too much coaxing she follows the keepers to the hanger

While preparations are made the calf is kept in the shade in the open hanger at the Ithumba airstrip  Ithumbah is brought to the stockades from the airstrip in the back of the tractors trailer

On arrival the Keeper Dependent Orphans’ Matriarch, Loijuk, lavished boundless love and attention on the newcomer who calmed down instantly, and soon the new orphan had settled down and even accepted milk and water from the Keepers all the while watched by an interested group of visiting wild elephant bulls who had turned up to drink at the Stockade water trough. Later on the Senior Independent Ex Orphans arrived to welcome the newcomer into the fold, all crowding around, rumbling and laying trunks lovingly across her back. A make shift stockade was hastily built so that the calf could tame down adequately before being able to join the other orphans. It was important that she became totally comfortable feeding from the keepers first, so that once she did join the Ithumba orphans, free from the confines of the stockades, she would have enough confidence to take her bottle from the Keepers during feed time along with the others.

The small makeshift temporary boma made to tame Ihtumbah down  The newcomer is showered in much loving from the big hearted Loijuk

Ithumbah with Loijuk  Loijuk spends the afternoon comforting the new arrival in the stockades

The calf is a female, and the Keepers decided that she be named Ithumbah spelt differently to avoid confusion. Calmed and pampered by her new Elephant Family under the care of Benjamin and his team of proficient Keepers, little Ithumbah is a very lucky baby, found and rescued by our Keepers before predators made a meal of her.

Kinna, Yatta & Nasalot come to say hi to the calves  That day a steady stream of wild bulls visited the stockades

The wild bulls were interested in the goings on with the new arrival

Everything needed to cope with every eventuality surrounding a new orphan was flown to Ithumba in a Plane that afternoon with Nursery Keeper Abdi - along with the vital injectable antibiotic to forestall pneumonia in a mud victim.

A shot from the air of the drying dam that trapped Ithumbah  The much needed milk and medication is flown to Ithumba

Abdi is flown down to Ithumba so that he can bring the much needed milk & medication  The calf is restrained so that Abdi is able to give her the antibiotic injection


Please see the resources above for more information on ITHUMBAH

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